Backed Herself Into A Back Problem

, , , , , , , , , | Related | December 15, 2017

My mother told me this story recently. My grandmother — an intractable, stubborn, and often vicious family matriarch if ever there was one — died not long ago and we were telling stories about her. This one made me laugh long and loud.

My grandmother was forever causing arguments with women in the family. She was determined to make sure that all the females in the family knew she was boss, end of story. The men, however, could do no wrong, especially my father, who was truly the apple of her eye.

My mother got into an argument with her. I had just been born — Mum and Dad’s first — and Mum was still getting used to me, and getting me into a routine of feeding and sleeping. Of course, my grandmother knew all there was to know about new babies and was forever butting in and driving Mum mad. One of her favourite tricks was to arrive at the house, with almost clairvoyant timing, just as Mum had got me to sleep, and insist on waking me up so she could spend time with me. Mum said that, had we lived far away from her so she only saw us occasionally, she wouldn’t have minded, but [Grandmother] lived just down the road and saw us every day. One day after it had taken Mum forever to get me to sleep, she absolutely forbade [Grandmother] from waking me, and the usual fight ensued.

Usually, Dad did what he and all the other male members of the family did when their wives, sisters, or daughters clashed with [Grandmother]; they did their ostrich trick and buried their heads in the sand. This time however, Dad came down on Mum’s side. He didn’t go to visit her, though he usually had morning tea with her every day, so she took to her bed with “back problems.”

When he still didn’t go to visit her, she let it be known that she was now paralysed. Still Dad stuck to his guns and stayed away. Finally, she was at death’s door and Dad didn’t give in. This went on for three days, and on the fourth day when [Grandmother] saw, from her bedroom window, Dad strolling down the road, this pain-wracked, paralysed, nearly dead woman leapt from her bed, ran down the driveway and screamed, “[Dad]! How dare you?! I am in agonising pain, I cannot move, and you ignore me! Ignore my suffering! What kind of son are you? Well, I’ll be dead in a day or so, and you and [Mum] will live with the knowledge that you caused it!”

My dad pointed out that she was standing on her own two feet, in her nightie, in the middle of the road. If she wanted this act of hers to really work, she would have to get back in bed and actually die. Then, he would feel sorry for her

It sounds harsh, I know, but it had the desired effect. Once [Grandmother] realised that her interfering in our family wouldn’t be tolerated and that she would, in fact, be excluded, she stopped being quite so hard on Mum. The only shame is that the other men in the family didn’t take a leaf out of Dad’s book and stand up to her when their wives, sisters, and daughters were being bullied. She carried on being as tough on them as she always had been.

Feminine Products Of A Curious Mind

, , , , , | Related | December 15, 2017

(I’m browsing through the hygiene aisle when a father and his young daughter stop near me.)

Daughter: “Dad! Do you need feminine hygiene things?”

Dad: “No, sweetheart. I’m a male. I don’t need them.”

Daughter: “Oh. Do I need them?”

Dad: *pauses* “We can worry about that when you’re older.”

Breakfast Schedule Will Be Crumbling For A While

, , , , , | Related | December 14, 2017

(My mom buys a huge box of some organic multigrain toaster pastry things, and decides she doesn’t like them. Rather than return them to the store, she decides to give them to me when I stop by to pick up my daughter after work. Knowing that she doesn’t give food away without good reason, I decide to try some, and my daughter is watching me intently as I open the package.)

Daughter: “Ooh, Mommy, you have cookies? You shouldn’t have cookies before your dinner!” *wags her finger at me*

Me: “Cookies? Uhm, no, I suppose not. But since there’s two of these cookie things here, and sharing is fun, would you like one?”

Daughter: “Ooh! YES! Cookie!”

Me: *tries the “cookie,” and immediately regrets that decision*

Daughter: *bites* “Mmm, yummy cookie! Thank you, Mommy! Oh, this is so good!”

Me: “You’re welcome. Have mine… Please!”

(We ended up taking the “cookies” home with us, where she had “cookies” with breakfast every day for the next few weeks.)

A (Star)Burst Of Decent Parenting

, , , , , , | Related | December 13, 2017

I nearly got hit by a candy container by a kid not happy about not getting sweets.

Hats off to the mother who took the situation by the horns. She paid for her purchase, without sweets, and talked at her son so much in the car that the boy actually came back into the store and apologized.

The world needs more mothers like that.

You Fight Like A Girl!

, , , , | Related | December 12, 2017

(Our entire family enjoys martial arts, especially jiu jitsu-style wrestling. When one of our sons, a US Marine, comes home for a visit, he and I get into a friendly wrestling match in the middle of the living room. His fiancée watches and occasionally winces as we crash around the room, knocking aside the furniture and giggling with glee.)

Son: *triumphant noise* “There! Now I’ve got you!”

Me: *slips out of the hold, rolls over, and pins him* “No, you don’t.”

Son: “But I almost did!”

Me: “But you didn’t.”

Son: “But I was doing really, really well! I have to tell my buddies about this!”

Me: “You were doing really well until you lost. Besides, do you really want to brag to your Marine buddies that you can almost pin an out-of-shape, middle-aged person?”

Son’s Fiancée: “…who happens to be your mom?”

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